Podcast: Science Fiction with Ron Moore, Mike Nelson and Steve Eley


This week on The Sound of Young America, a long hard look at science fiction.

Steve Eley, who we hear from briefly in the main program, and of whom there's a more extensive interview below, is the editor of Escape Pod. This science fiction literature podcast is one of the world's most popular.

Michael J. Nelson was the long-time host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Since that show left the air, he's written several books. Now, he's putting his "mocking bad movies" cap back on to head Rifftrax, where he's recording comic MP3 commentaries for films.

Ron Moore spent ten years working on the Star Trek franchise's many incarnations before leaving frustrated. Three years ago, he co-created the SciFi Network series Battlestar Galactica. It's been hailed by critics as one of the greatest science fiction television programs ever. He and his colleague David Eick were recently awarded the prestigious Peabody Award for their contributions to broadcasting.

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Bonus Audio

Steve Eley of the Escape Pod

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Incidental Music by DJW

Extra Credit Double Bonus Audio:
Mike Nelson on TSOYA a couple years ago (MP3)
Jesse reads Cory Doctorow's "Craphound" on Escape Pod

Podcast: Live in New York 2


Last month, The Sound of Young America recorded two broadcasts live at the PIT in New York City. This is the second of those programs.

Our first guest, Andres du Bouchet, is an accomplished stand-up comic whose show "Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There Is A Game" is a New York City favorite. He's also been on Conan O'Brien and Cheap Seats, and was a featured player on I Love the 30s. He offered our listeners "So You've Been Turned," a guide to acclimating to your new life as a vampire.

Our second guests, Elephant Larry, are a long-time Sound of Young America favorite. Their sketch parodied "8 Mile," and it's worth noting that they all wore funny sea-faring hats.

Then our relatively new friend Jonathan Coulton came through and performed three winning songs. First he played, "The Future Soon," a song written from the perspective of a love-lorn 12-year-old nerd. Then he performed a winning cover of the Sir-Mix-A-Lot classic "Baby Got Back," and closed with a charming song written from the perspective of a zombie businessman. You can download each song in his performance seperately here.

We closed with an interview with Kurt Andersen. Before Kurt became a novelist and the host of Public Radio International's excellent Studio 360, he founded the seminal satirical magazine Spy. The magazine's business was mocking the media, financial and Hollywood elite in an era before such irreverence was ubiquitous.

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Top Photo by Anya Garrett of

Special thanks to The Onion for promotional support

Podcast: The Knights of Prosperity

The cast of The Knights of Prosperity

This week, we talk with Jon Beckerman and Rob Burnett, creators of the new ABC series "The Knights of Prosperity." The series follows a crew of working-class heroes as they attempt to rob Mick Jagger's luxurious penthouse. Beckerman and Burnett are veterans of David Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company, where they also developed the cult favorite dramedy "Ed." Both got their start writing for The Late Show, and Burnett now runs Worldwide Pants.

The new series premiers Wednesday, January 3rd at 9/8C on ABC.

(Note that by popular demand, we're trying a new format for TSOYA podcasts. Each podcast will be a seperate interview, typically running 20-30 minutes, rather than an hourlong radio broadcast. You should generally 1-3 new podcasts per week. If you have any feedback about this, I'd love to hear it. Oh... and if you're a real nerd like me, you might notice that the files have a new naming convention: tsoyaYYMMDD_Guest.mp3. This is to make it easier for you to sort them on your hard drive, and easier for those without high-tech MP3 players to find the shows they want.)

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Previously on TSOYA:

Knights of Prosperity star Maz Jobrani

Podcast: Best Friends with John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton


This week on The Sound of Young America, two old friends, both of the show and of each other. We chat with each seperately, and in special blog-only bonus audio (below), we squash a long-simmering feud between them regarding cat care and a series of vicious attack ads.

Jonathan Coulton is a comic singer-songwriter. For the past year, he's written and released (free) a new song every single week. Some, like "Code Monkey," which he performs on the show, have become internet phenomena. Enjoy free downloads of his three musical performances below. He's currently touring with his best pal...

...John Hodgman. Hodgman is the author of "The Areas of My Expertise," a compendium of entirely fabricated facts, history and trivia. For many years, Hodgman was a literary agent, and counted among his clients the B-movie star Bruce Campbell. Today, he's best known for portraying the PC in the Mac-Vs.-PC advertisements for Apple, and for his regular appearances on the Daily Show. See below for special blog-only audio of Hodgman discussing his childhood interest in (but incompetence at) D&D.

If you're coming from an outside link (I see you, boingboing, Coultonblog, etc), be sure to check out our audio archive for past programs (Colbert's head writer, The Flaming Lips, Chuck Klosterman & Dave Foley, etc), and look below for past shows with John H.

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Download Jonathan Coulton's Musical Performances (Right Click, Save As)

Code Monkey / Lyrics
You Ruined Everything / Lyrics
The Future Soon / Lyrics

Listen to This Week's Show

Bonus: Hodgman Vs. Coulton

Bonus: Hodgman on Dungeons & Dragons

Incidental Music by DJW

Previously on The Sound of Young America:

"All World Knowledge" with John Hodgman and Fred Rees: MP3
"On the Road" with John Hodgman and Henry Rollins: MP3
"ComedyCopia" with a song from Jonathan Coulton
"Joketacular" with a song from Jonathan Coulton

Podcast: Jackson Publick of The Venture Brothers


Jackson Publick is the co-creator of the Cartoon Network [adult swim] series The Venture Brothers. The series is a sometimes bizarre, often surprisingly heartfelt parody of the boys' adventure genre.

Jackson talks about his own roots, including the loss of his mother when he was a child, his aborted college career(s), and his meteoric rise from comic book store clerk to television writer.

Jonathan Coulton rocks San Francisco


Have you ever been to a concert where the performer asks the question, "Any math fans in the audience tonight?" and is met with a resounding cheer?

Neither had I, until Sunday night. I was home in San Francisco this past weekend, visiting family and friends, and was lucky enough to attend just such a concert -- Jonathan Coulton at Cafe du Nord.

The Cafe is a cozy venue, with seating for about 75, but it was packed to the gills with perhaps 125 attendees for Coulton's show. My party of four ended up standing in the back, which afforded us a wonderful view of both the delightful show and the nerdosity blossoming before us in the house.

A word about the crowd: I'd never been to an event so nerdy as this. It even surpassed the Society for American Baseball Research events I attended in my teen years. I expected as much, but was surprised by the audience's wide age range. Unlike, say, Indie Rock, nerd is a subculture that folks tend to wear throughout their lives, and it was impressive to see a few of the 20-something fans I expected alongside lots of 30- 40- and 50-something fans who surprised me. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it, but then I decided it was great. The nerd quotient ranged from "laughably" to "modestly," but I don't think you should let it stop you from going to the show, whether you yourself are a nerd or not.

After a strong set from opener Mark Silverman, and after I met a TSOYA listener(1) named Chad, who is very nice and once printed business cards for me as a donation, JoCo took the stage to much approbation from the gathered nerd-masses.

A lengthy and delightful set followed, along with two encores. Many of Jonathan's most popular tunes were played, the audience mouthed the words along with him, and so forth. Hilights included a charming and heartfelt song about George Plimpton and a delightful sing-along in which the audience was scolded for not sounding "zombie enough."

JoCo is currently on an oddball tour that will take him to San Diego, LA, Portland, Seattle, Vienna Virginia, Aardmore Pennsylvania and Annapolis Maryland. It's certainly worth your time.

(1) If you see me at a public event, please feel free to introduce yourself. It will shock me, but is unlikely to bother me. Even if we have met before, I will likely have forgotten at the least your name, and probably what you look like. This is an MP, not a YP -- please do not take it as a sign that I don't care about you. For example, last week I couldn't remember for several days the name of a girl I went out with for almost a year in high school. I just am bad at remembering. Also, I am suprised because someone knew who I was, not because I hate meeting listeners or something.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO!: Episode 12: Crazy Homeless Neighbors, etc.


In this week's Jordan Jesse GO!, we're joined by comedian Jen Kirman. We discuss the crazy, meth-addicted homeless people who live outside her window. We also play Would You Rather with listener Carol and Jim Real, the Master of Would You Rather.

Jen Kirkman's new album just came out via our friends at AST records. You can buy it for only $10 here. Here's a sample: "Cockroaches"

Jesse and Jordan are on the scene of a house fire. We have a very, very important question: who is better... Chiwetel Eijofor or Djimoun Honsou?

Jen Kirkman

Jen Kirkman discusses with us the crazy homeless people who live outside of her apartment. They have a tent, a welcome mat, and Christmas lights. Also, they sell drugs to teenagers.

Would You Rather
Jim Real, The Master of Would You Rather and listener Carol from Connecticut play Would You Rather with us. Jim's question: would you rather have sandpaper hands, or be forced to eat only food that you have hunted or gathered?


Our High Five Contest continues with some awesome entries. We want to hear what you want to be like when you're old. And so on.

* What will you be like when you're old? Call and tell us! 206-984-4FUN.
* What defines "being a grown-up" for you?
* Chiwetel Eijofor or Djimon Honsou? Vote Now!


* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

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Download Episode Twelve

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

SkyMaul on Marketplace


Reporter Jeremy Richards covers Kasper Hauser's SkyMaul on today's Marketplace.

Podcast: Kasper Hauser Comedy Podcast: Crack Pipe Chess Set

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This week: Your chess game will feel better than ever before with this new, hand-crafted crystal set.

Please continue to subscribe and review the show! You can also check out KH's videos on YouTube.

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Buy Kasper Hauser's new book: "Skymaul"

Podcast: Artist Brandon Bird


Brandon Bird describes himself as a surrealistic, realistic pop artist. His often-hilarious paintings typically place psuedo-celebrities in bizarre and somehow banal situations. He talks about the potential he thinks pop art is missing, the role of humor in art and why popular culture is a perfectly reasonable subject for a fine artist.

From the Archive:
Brandon talks with us several years ago on this archive show (MP3)

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